British Cycling presents #TRASHMOB Academy in Leeds!

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We know an appealing and tidy environment would encourage a more active lifestyle. This is why Get Set Leeds presents you a great initiative that ticks off both boxes: taking care of the environment while staying physically active.

British Cycling Yorkshire launched #TRASHBOM Academy – a pilot youth engagement project that offers the opportunity for young people to ride their mountain bikes and connect with nature.

#TRASHBOM Academy is part of the Trash Free Trails which encourages people to protect the riding trails and wild places. Their first mission is focused on litter, looking to reduce plastic pollution by 75% by 2025, and connecting people with their ‘wild selves’ through a cycling adventure.

What happened at #TRASHMOB Academy?

A combination of both developing riding skills and making the environment tidier. During school time, students took part in focused activities linked to 6 areas of the National Curriculum. They then had the chance to come along to 5 weeks of purposeful mountain bike and BMX sessions at Leeds Urban Bike Park. Here they have built a wide range of MTB and BMX skills, increased their self-esteem, and learnt about further cycling opportunities and Go-Ride clubs. At the same time, students got their hands dirty (literally) with some ad-hoc trail clean-ups.

Who took part in this pilot project?

The young riders who took part in this pilot project came from a South Leeds pupil referral unit which is an alternative to mainstream school. They may have been permanently excluded from their mainstream school for behaviour reasons that emerged from experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties, including mental health challenges.

What lies ahead for #TRASHMOB Academy?

Trash Free Trails are currently developing the #TRASHMOB model into a long and short course to be rolled out nationally to schools, coaches, clubs, outdoor activity, and trail centres.

Schools and riders want to bring this one step ahead and are looking at future opportunities to add cycling into their provision including bike maintenance, cycling awards for young volunteers, Duke of Edinburgh awards, and physical education opportunities.

Leeds Urban Bike Park are going to trial public, school and community trash free trails sessions using the learnings from the pilot.

To find out more about Trash Free Trails, visit https://www.trashfreetrails.org/ and follow their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/trashfreetrails/.

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